Butler’s Lives of the Saints – Saint Quadratus, Bishop of Athens, Confessor


May 26

He was a disciple of the apostles, inherited their spirit and gifts, and by his miracles and labours exceedingly propagated the faith, as Eusebius testified; who calls him a divine man, and assures us that he was endued with an eminent gift of prophecy, and was one of those by whom the Holy Ghost continued to work the same miracles as by the apostles. Saint Publius, the immediate successor of Saint Dionysius the Areopagite, being crowned with martyrdom under Adrian in the year 125, Saint Quadratus was placed in that episcopal chair. By his qualifications in polite literature, he was esteemed by the heathens as a great ornament to their city, then the seat of the muses; and by his zeal and piety he assembled the faithful together, whom the terrors of the persecution had scattered, and rekindled the fire of their faith, which had begun in many to be extinguished, says Saint Jerom. The Emperor Adrian passed the winter at Athens in 124, and was initiated in the mysteries of the goddess Eleusina. The persecution which then raged grew much sharper on the occasion of this superstitious festival. Saint Quadratus thirsting after martyrdom, wrote an apology for our holy faith, which he presented to that emperor some time after the martyrdom of Saint Publius, and his own exaltation to the episcopal dignity, consequently in 126. Saint Jerom testifies, that this performance procured him the highest applause, even among the heathens, and that it extinguished a violent persecution. He calls it, a very profitable book, and worthy the apostolical doctrine, etc. Eusebius tells us, that it was an excellent monument of the talents and apostolical faith of the author. On which account its loss is much to be regretted. In a fragment of this work, preserved us by Eusebius, Saint Quadratus shows the difference between the impostures of magicians, and the true miracles of Christ, and that the former were false, but the latter real, because they were permanent. “But as to the miracles of our Saviour,” says he, “they always remained, because they were real and true. The sick cured, and the dead by him raised did not only appear restored, but they remained so both whilst Christ was on earth and long after he was departed, so that some of them have come down to our time.”

MLA Citation

  • Father Alban Butler. “Saint Quadratus, Bishop of Athens, Confessor”. Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints, 1866. CatholicSaints.Info. 26 May 2012. Web. 21 September 2020. <http://catholicsaints.info/butlers-lives-of-the-saints-saint-quadratus-bishop-of-athens-confessor/>